at this year's academy awards, someone quoted someone who said "documentaries are the conscience of film". i agree now, after a semester of being pushed to not only find the interesting things around me, but to articulate them on-screen. having spent three years in a love/hate relationship with film, one in which i completely fell out of love last semester, it's only been this semester that I've actually felt like something i made was worth showing people, thanks to chelsea, and to ellen, kim and our class. documentary making always seemed pretty lame to me; not that many people actually like them, they don't show in theaters alongside narratives, and they are often less beautiful than well-done fiction films. to be honest, i took doc because im lazy and don't like working with know-it-all actors. i figured that doc had to be way easier than all the planning involved in narrative.
false. ive never felt so exposed in my life. chelsea and i weren't trying to sell ourselves to people who knew about film or who were even enthusiasts. we were asking to be let into the private lives of fourteen completely different (often strange) regular people. she may not know this, but i depended on chelsea a lot for direction on how to interact with our protagonists. i felt like an asshole shoving a camera in their faces and trying to balance being respectful of their privacy with getting information out of them. for three weeks i wouldn't step foot inside the house without chelsea, and i never ate or drank anything they offered because i felt like an imposition. it was more stressful trying to figure out what to shoot and what not to than it is to follow a script. we looked at the footage often thinking, "where the hell are we going with this?".
but as the co-op members and chelsea and i got to know each other, things got better and i loved going to shoot. doing this documentary was one of the best experiences of my life. i met so many friends-classmates and subjects-and with the help of our class and instructors, i really feel like chelsea and i created something valuable. its awesome to fall in love-its even more awesome to fall in love again.
i've learned how to better interact with people, i've gained a lot of self-confidence, and i've made relationships that i hope will last a very long time. this doc class has been the best of my college career, and i look forward to the advanced class!